Archive of ‘gamification’ category

blockchain credentialing in higher ed

2 reasons why blockchain tech has big, tangible implications for higher ed

By Jami Morshed September 27th, 2017

What Is Blockchain?

blockchain is a database or digital ledger. The data in the ledger is arranged in batches known as blocks, with each block storing data about a specific transaction. The blocks are linked together using cryptographic validation to form an unbroken and unbreakable chain–hence the name blockchain. As it relates to bitcoin, the blocks are monetary units, and the chain includes information about all past transactions of that monetary unit.

Importantly, the database (i.e., the series of blocks) is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers, meaning that it has no one central repository. This not only means that the records are truly public, but also that there is no centralized version of the data for a hacker to corrupt. In order to make changes to the ledger, consensus between all members of the group must be obtained, further adding to the system’s security.

1. Blockchain for the Future of Credentialing

With today’s technologies, graduates and prospective employers must go through a tedious process to obtain student transcripts or diplomas, and this complexity is compounded when these credentials are spread across multiple institutions. Not only that, but these transcripts can take days or weeks to produce and send, and usually require a small fee be paid to the institution.LinkedLinek

This could be a key enabler to facilitate student ownership of this data and would allow them to instantly produce secure and comprehensive credentials to any institute or employer requesting them, including information about a student’s performance on standardized tests, degree requirements, extracurricular activities, and other learning activities.

Blockchain could play a major role in Competency-Based Education (CBE) programs and micro-credentialing, which are becoming ever more popular across universities and internal business training programs.

various companies are currently working on such a system of record. One of the most well-known is called “BlockCert,” which is an open standard created by MIT Media Lab and which the institute hopes will help drive the adoption of blockchain credentialing.

imagine the role that LinkedIn or a similar platform could play in the distribution of such content. Beyond verification of university records, LinkedIn could become a platform for sharing verified work history and resumes as well, making the job application process far simpler

2. Blockchain’s Financial Implications and Student debt

how could blockchain influence student finances? For starters, financial aid and grants could be tied to student success. Instead of students and universities having to send over regular progress reports on a recipient’s performance, automatic updates to a student’s digital record would ensure that benchmarks were being met–and open up new opportunities for institutions looking to offer merit-based grants.

Electronic tuition payments and money transfers could also simplify the tuition process. This is an especially appealing option for international students, as bitcoin’s interchangeable nature and lack of special fees for international transfers makes it a simpler and more cost-effective payment method.

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more on credentialing in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=credentialing

more on blockchain credentialing in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2016/10/03/blockchain-credentialing/

interactivity for the library

In 2015, former library dean purchased two large touch-screen monitors (I believe paid $3000 each). Shortly before that, I had offered to the campus fitting applications for touch screens (being that large screens or mobiles):

Both applications fit perfect the idea of interactivity in teaching (and learning) – http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=interactivity

With the large touch screens, I proposed to have one of the large screens, positioned outside in the Miller Center lobby and used as a dummy terminal (50” + screens run around $700) to mount educational material (e.g. Guenter Grass’s celebration of his work: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/04/15/gunter-grass-1927-2015/ ) and have students explore by actively engaging, rather than just passively absorbing information. The bus-awaiting students are excellent potential users and they visibly are NOT engaged by by the currently broadcasted information on these screens, but can be potentially engaged if such information is restructured in interactive content.

The initial library administration approval was stalled by a concern with students “opening porno sites” while the library is closed which, indeed, would have been a problem.

My 2015 inquiry with the IT technicians about freezing a browser and a specific tab, which could prevent such issues, but it did not go far (pls see solution below). Failing to secure relatively frigid environment on the touch screen, the project was quietly left to rot.

I am renewing my proposal to consider the rather expensive touch screen monitors, which have been not utilized to their potential, and test my idea to engage students in a meaningful knowledge-building by using these applications to either create content or engage with content created by others.

Further, I am proposing that I investigate with campus faculty the possibility to bring the endeavor a step further by having a regularly-meeting group to develop engaging content using these and similar apps; for their own classes or any other [campus-related] activities. The incentive can be some reward, after users and creators “vote” the best (semester? Academic year?) project. The less conspicuous benefit will be the exposure of faculty to modern technology; some of the faculty are still abiding by lecturing style, other faculty, who seek interactivity are engulfed in the “smart board” fiction. Engaging the faculty in the touch screen creation of teaching materials will allow them to expand the practice to their and their students’ mobile devices. The benefit for the library will be the “hub” of activities, where faculty can learn from each other experience[s] in the library, rather than in their own departments/school only. The reward will be an incentive from the upper administration (document to attach in PDR?). I will need both your involvement/support. Tom Hergert by helping me rally faculty interest and the administrators incentivizing faculty to participate in the initial project, until it gains momentum and recognition.

In the same fashion, as part of the aforementioned group or separate, I would like to host a regularly-meeting group of students, who besides play and entertainment, aim the same process of creating interactive learning materials for their classes/projects. Same “best voted” process by peers. My preferable reward: upper administration is leaving recommendation in the students’ Linkedin account for future employers. I will need both your involvement/support. The student union can be decisive in bringing students to this endeavor.  Both of you have more cloud with the student union then only a regular faculty such as me.

In regard to the security (porn alert, see above) I have the agreement of Dr. Tirthankar Ghos with the IS Department. Dr. Ghosh will be most pleased to announce as a class project the provision of a secure environment for the touch screen monitor to be left after the group meetings for “use” by students in the library. Dr. Ghosh is, however, concerned/uncertain with the level of cooperation from IT, considering that for his students to enable such environment, they have to have the “right” access; namely behind firewalls, administrative privileges etc. Each of you will definitely be more persuasive with Phil Thorson convincing him in the merit of having IS student work with SCSU IT technician, since it is a win-win situation: the IT technician does not have to “waste time” (as in 2015) and resolve an issue and the IS student will be having a project-based, real-life learning experience by enabling the project under the supervision of the IT technician. Besides: a. student-centered, project-based learning; b. IT technician time saved, we also aim c. no silos / collaborative SCSU working environment, as promised by the reorganization process.

coding

What Most Schools Don't Teach

Coding, more than anything, is extremely valuable.How to get started: http://empirically.co/is-learning-how-to-code-worth-it-these-celebrities-say-so/Thank you Code.org, for this amazing video!

Posted by Empirically on Thursday, May 18, 2017

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more about coding in this IMS blog

phones in the classroom

3 Tips for Managing Phone Use in Class

Setting cell phone expectations early is key to accessing the learning potential of these devices and minimizing the distraction factor.
Liz Kolb September 11, 2017

https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-tips-managing-phone-use-class
Ten is now the average age when children receive their first cell phones
Build a digital citizenship curriculum that includes mobile device use.

Ask your students questions such as:

  • What do you like to do on your cell phone and why? (If they don’t have one, what would they like to do?)
  • What are the most popular apps and websites you use?
  • What do you think are inappropriate ways that cell phones have been used?
  • What is poor cell phone etiquette? Why?
  • How can cell phones help you learn?
  • How can cell phones distract from your learning?
  • How do you feel about your cell phone and the activities you do on your phone?
  • What should teachers know about your cell phone use that you worry we do not understand?
  • Do you know how to use your cell phone to gather information, to collaborate on academic projects, to evaluate websites?
  • How can we work together to create a positive mobile mental health?

Using a Stoplight Management Approach

Post a red button on the classroom door: the cell phone parking lot.

Post a yellow button on the classroom door: Students know their cell phones should be on silent (vibrate) and placed face down in the upper right-hand corner of their desk. They will be using them in class, but not the whole time.

Post a green button on the classroom door: Students know they should have their phones turned on (either silenced or set on vibrate) and placed face up in ready position to use throughout the class.

Establishing a Class Contract

Ask your students to help you develop social norms for what is and is not appropriate cell phone use during green and yellow button times. Should they be allowed to go on their social media networks during class? Why or why not?

Ask them to brainstorm consequences and write them into a class contract.

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more on the use of smart phones in the classroom in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=phone+classroom

digital microcredentials

Designing and Developing Digital Credentials

Part 1: September 13, 2017 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Part 2: September 19, 2017 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Part 3: September 28, 2017 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

https://events.educause.edu/eli/courses/2017/digging-into-badges-designing-and-developing-digital-credentials

Digital badges are receiving a growing amount of attention and are beginning to disrupt the norms of what it means to earn credit or be credentialed. Badges allow the sharing of evidence of skills and knowledge acquired through a wide range of life activity, at a granular level, and at a pace that keeps up with individuals who are always learning—even outside the classroom. As such, those not traditionally in the degree-granting realm—such as associations, online communities, and even employers—are now issuing “credit” for achievement they can uniquely recognize. At the same time, higher education institutions are rethinking the type and size of activities worthy of official recognition. From massive open online courses (MOOCs), service learning, faculty development, and campus events to new ways of structuring academic programs and courses or acknowledging granular or discrete skills and competencies these programs explore, there’s much for colleges and universities to consider in the wide open frontier called badging.

Learning Objectives

During this ELI course, participants will:

  • Explore core concepts that define digital badges, as well as the benefits and use in learning-related contexts
  • Understand the underlying technical aspects of digital badges and how they relate to each other and the broader landscape for each learner and issuing organization
  • Critically review and analyze examples of the adoption of digital credentials both inside and outside higher education
  • Identify and isolate specific programs, courses, or other campus or online activities that would be meaningfully supported and acknowledged with digital badges or credentials
  • Consider the benefit of each minted badge or system to the earner, issuer, and observer
  • Develop a badge constellation or taxonomy for their own project
  • Consider forms of assessment suitable for evaluating badge earning
  • Learn about design considerations around the visual aspects of badges
  • Create a badge-issuing plan
  • Issue badges

NOTE: Participants will be asked to complete assignments in between the course segments that support the learning objectives stated above and will receive feedback and constructive critique from course facilitators on how to improve and shape their work.

Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO, Credly

Jonathan Finkelstein is founder and CEO of Credly, creator of the Open Credit framework, and founder of the open source BadgeOS project. Together these platforms have enabled thousands of organizations to recognize, reward, and market skills and achievement. Previously, he was founder of LearningTimes and co-founder of HorizonLive (acquired by Blackboard), helping mission-driven organizations serve millions of learners through online programs and platforms. Finkelstein is author of Learning in Real Time (Wiley), contributing author to The Digital Museum, co-author of a report for the U.S. Department of Education on the potential for digital badges, and a frequent speaker on digital credentials, open badges, and the future of learning and workforce development. Recent speaking engagements have included programs at The White House, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Smithsonian, EDUCAUSE, IMS Global, Lumina Foundation, ASAE, and the Federal Reserve. Finkelstein is involved in several open standards initiatives, such as the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Badge Alliance, American Council on Education (ACE) Stackable Credentials Framework Advisory Group, and the Credential Registry. He graduated with honors from Harvard.

Susan Manning, University of Wisconsin-Stout

In addition to helping Credly clients design credential systems in formal and informal settings, Susan Manning comes from the teaching world. Presently she teaches for the University of Wisconsin at Stout, including courses in instructional design, universal design for learning, and the use of games for learning. Manning was recognized by the Sloan Consortium with the prestigious 2013 Excellence in Online Teaching Award. She has worked with a range of academic institutions to develop competency-based programs that integrate digital badges. Several of her publications specifically speak to digital badge systems; other work is centered on technology tools and online education.

EDUC-441 Mobile Learning Instructional Design


(3 cr.)
Repeatable for Credit: No
Mobile learning research, trends, instructional design strategies for curriculum integration and professional development.

EDUC-452 Universal Design for Learning


(2 cr.)
Repeatable for Credit: No
Instructional design strategies that support a wide range of learner differences; create barrier-free learning by applying universal design concepts.

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more on badges in education in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=badges

European conference on game based learning

11th European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL 2017)

Conference   5th to 6th October 2017  Graz, Austria

Website: http://www.academic-conferences.org/conferences/ecgbl/
Contact person: Louise Remenyi

ECGBL offers an opportunity for scholars and practitioners interested in the issues related to Games Based Learning to share their thinking and research findings. ECGBL provides a forum for discussion and collaboration by academics and practitioners.

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more on GBL in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=game+based+learning

designing badges

ELI Course | Digging Into Badges: Designing and Developing Digital Credentials
Register by September 22

Digital badges are receiving a growing amount of attention and are beginning to disrupt the norms of what it means to earn credit or be credentialed. Badges allow the sharing of evidence of skills and knowledge acquired through a wide range of life activity, at a granular level, and at a pace that keeps up with individuals who are always learning—even outside the classroom. As a result, there’s quite a lot for colleges and universities to consider in the wide open frontier called badging.

During this ELI Course, participants will:

  • Explore core concepts that define digital badges, as well as their benefits and use in learning-related contexts
  • Understand the underlying technical aspects of digital badges and how they relate to each other and the broader landscape for each learner and issuing organization
  • Critically review and analyze examples of the adoption of digital credentials both inside and outside higher education
  • Identify and isolate specific programs, courses, or other campus or online activities that would be meaningfully supported and acknowledged with digital badges or credentials—and more

Join us for this three-part series. Registration is open.

  • Part 1: September 13 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
  • Part 2: September 19 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
  • Part 3: September 28 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

more on badges in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=badges

VR and ER tech developments

A New World: VR and AR Tech Developments

Authors: by Emory Craig and Maya Georgieva Monday, July 17, 2017

http://er.educause.edu/blogs/2017/7/a-new-world-vr-and-ar-tech-developments

device available on campus

We’re now seeing a move toward mid-range, standalone VR headsets with everything built into the device. Some include their own processors, while others, like the forthcoming Microsoft headset, will work with current desktops. Microsoft’s device claims to do both VR and a modified version of mixed reality

The low end of the VR spectrum has been dominated by Google Cardboard, with over 10 million distributed

headsets

Augmented Reality

AR burst into the public’s consciousness with the Pokemon Go craze in 2016. And Snap (formerly Snapchat) expanded the range of their social media platform with the release of Spectacles, their wearable glasses and World Lens filters that add digital objects to your environment. A second version of Spectacles may include far more extensive AR capabilities.

At Facebook’s spring F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg made the case that our mobile cameras will be the first popular AR platform. Apple just announced ARKit for iOS at their June WWDC developers conference.

Mixed Reality

Meta Glasses has been developing its own mixed reality unit that offers a wider field of view than the 40° of HoloLens. And Intel’s Project Alloy promises a “Merged Reality” headset prototype combining both VR and AR by the end of this year.

Kickstarter Projects

Aryzon which is creating a Google Cardboard-like device for simple AR experiences. Another is the NOLO Project, which offers an HTC Vive-like experience with full freedom of movement using only a plastic headset and your phone.

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Google Glass 2.0
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/07/19/google-brings-back-much-maligned-google-glass-headset/

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/nevkgb/google-glass-adopters-on-glass-enterprise

https://www.wired.com/story/google-glass-2-is-here/

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Top 5 Vendors in Global AR Education Market

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/07/14/report-top-5-vendors-in-global-ar-education-market.aspx

Market research firm Technavio has identified the top five vendors in the global augmented reality (AR) in education market. The companies are EON Reality, DAQRI, GAMOOZ, Magic Leap and QuiverVision, according to a newly published report.

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more on VR in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=virtual+reality

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